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Students at TJL had the opportunity to play holiday classics using
unconventional instruments called “boomwhackers” in music class during
the month of December. Boomwhackers, hollow plastic tubes that are tuned
to a musical pitch, are played just as their name suggests—creating a
boom by whacking them on the floor.
Music teacher Mrs. Courtney Kassinger, who has been working with her
students to help them perfect the art of sight-reading, taught students
songs for Hanukkah earlier in the month, as well as the cultural
significance behind each song. As Christmas approached, Mrs. Kassinger
taught them holiday classics such “Let it Snow”, “Jingle Bells” and
more, expounding on the stories behind them as well.
For example, students learned that Jingle Bells was originally written
as a song for Thanksgiving but somehow became adopted as a Christmas
classic. Students also learned that bells were used on sleighs to alert
people that someone was approaching, and other interesting facts.
“I love learning about songs ‘behind the scenes’,” one student said during the lesson.
Students attempted playing simple songs like jingle bells, but were also
put to the test with difficult compositions like portions of “the
Nutcracker”, and left their classes humming seasonal songs and enjoying
the buzz of holiday spirit.